Welcome Notes

We are glad you have found your way to our slice of paradise! Here in San Pablo Etla you will find plenty of the best that nature has to offer: fresh air, a perfect climate, spectacular views, hiking, birding, swimming, or just relaxing with a book in the hammock. And then there's the city, the markets, and the ruins for whenever you can tear yourself away from San Pablo. We want to you feel at home here, so below you will find a few tips for enjoying your stay. ASSISTANCE: Our manager Florencio is a neighbor and is available for any questions. Call or text his mobile from the El Barco land line at 110-2813, from your American mobile at +52-1-951-110-2813, or a Mexican mobile at 951-110-2813. Or write him at florenciovp at gmail dot com. His English is excellent. He is sometimes available or can usually arrange for special assistance (driving, shopping, etc.) on a per trip basis at a cost to be worked out directly with him.
HIKING, BIKING AND BIRDING: There is amazing hiking on burro trails in the hills behind El Barco. Nearly wherever you go, a trail will appear. Some, however, are much better than others! Check out our pages on Local Activities, including Bill's bird list and John's homespun map of the local trails. WATER: During the long dry season (roughly late October to early May) there is a shortage of water in Oaxaca, so please do not use it unnecessarily. Though our water comes from a spring in the mountains, it is only pre-filtered on the property, so don't drink it. There is a "garafon" container of purified water in the kitchen, and the bottled-water on the bathroom counters is safe. If you need more, please ask or you can find a fresh garafon outside the kitchen. Also, we recommend sterilizing all fruits and vegetables with the iodine drops you can find in the kitchen. We use about 5-10 drops of iodine per liter of tap water and let the fruits soak for about 30 minutes. INTERNET: If you have a laptop, you can connect easily to our wireless internet service by selecting the El Barco, Mastersuite, or Casita, whichever comes in strongest for your location. They all share the same password: 1BB2DB7DC5. You should get around 5 Mbs download and 0.5 Mbs upload speeds--enough to stream Netflix or get some work done--but speeds fluctuate wildly; mornings are typically fastest. CLEANING: Housekeeping is provided twice a week by Rosa (typically Mondays and Wednesdays). If you need cleaning on another day, please ask Florencio ahead of time and we will do our best to accommodate. GARDENING AND WATERING: Virgilio, our gardener, will pass through approximately two times each week to water the plants and take care of the gardens. If he is in the area at an inconvenient time, please just ask him to return “mas tarde, por favor” (later, please). GARBAGE: Garbage typically goes out on Mondays. Please put your garbage in the can to the left out the front door of the entrance to the house. We appreciate your separating glass, cans, and plastic into another bag for recycling. PARKING: El Barco has its own parking space within the compound next to the house. You are welcome to park there, but in general we park outside the gate to keep the compound car-free.
POOL: The pool is shared by the three houses in the compound. We ask that you be considerate of other people regarding noise and use of the facility. With consideration, there is plenty of room for all. If you have young children, please do not leave them unsupervised. As the deck at the edge of the pool is very slippery when wet, please refrain from running or horsing around. The pool is shallow, so please, no diving. The pool closes at 11 pm. Please, no glass in or near the pool. There are lights at the pool if you want to spend the evening there; please turn off all the lights when you leave. PHONE: There is a cell phone at your disposal while staying with us. The phone uses “fichas” or phone cards, which can be purchased at most tiendas (local shops) for 100 pesos. The cost per call is approximately 4 pesos per minute for local calls. Note: If you are calling a landline from a cell phone, it is dialed normally, such as the El Barco house number: 520-4026. If you are dialing a cell phone, the number needs the area code 951 before the number. FYI, if you call from a landline to a cell phone, the number is dialed, for example, as: 044-951-135-3575. And if someone calls your cell phone from the States, they must add a 1, as in: +52-1-951-116-8050. (Yes, it's complicated!) WASHING CLOTHES: If you would like to wash clothes, please feel free to use the washer/dryer. If the weather is sunny, for energy conservation, we appreciate your hanging your clothes on the line below the master suite. TAXIS / TRANSPORTATION: Lupe is a wonderful driver who lives in the pueblo (mobile: 951-306-6073; land: 144-4264). Please ask Florencio for updated driver info because these things change. Lupe can also take you to the airport, but not pick you up there (due to the airport taxi monopoly). Also, Florencio sometimes provides driving services. If you are interested in a day trip, Florencio or Lupe can help you to arrange this. It is good to give the taxi driver advance notice if possible. It is approximately 100 pesos (sometimes a bit more) to the center of town in a private taxi and 300-400 to the airport. Lupe's prices for tourists are on the high end, but guests still love him. Alternatively, you can walk to the bottom of the hill and pick up either a taxi, colectivo (collective taxi), or the bus to get you into town. The most direct bus to the Zocalo is "Independencia" and costs 7 pesos. If you would like transportation to the bottom of the hill, you can use a moto taxi. You'll need to walk about 6 minutes down the hill to catch the first one (10 pesos), then change to another in Viguera (5 pesos). (Ask taxis to come to “la casa ‘El Barco’ en El Camino al Seminario” to pick you up or drop you off.) TV / DVD: There is a selection of DVDs and CDs in El Barco and La Casita for your enjoyment. If you would like to have more choices of movies, just ask. There are many more in the main house than the casita and you should be able to trade. Netflix usually works well here.
CATERING: If you'd like to order a traditional meal and eat it at El Barco, Florencio's wife, Sarai, is a hit with our guests. Talk to Florencio for availability and pricing. PETS: We are delighted to welcome your furry family members. We ask that you “curb” them outside the compound and not leave them locked up for extended periods of time. (There is a fee of $20 per pet per week.)   OUR STAFF: Florencio, Rosa, and Virgilio are here to make your stay a pleasant one. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask Florencio. If you are happy with the services of our staff, a tip is appreciated and can be left upon departure. If you need assistance beyond what Florencio can provide, please feel free to email Adele at adele.hammond@gmail.com or, if it’s urgent, call me in Oregon at +1-541-490-9050. Our goal is to make your stay at El Barco as wonderful as it can be!

Bienvenidos! Adele, John, and Siena PS: Thank you for not smoking in the house.